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Change programmes: evolving the business is a necessary pain for future gain

The problem with change is, even though it is near constant in our lives, it is never the same experience twice.

At Transform Performance, we work with organisations on change programmes that may have similar drivers and be aimed at achieving similar outcomes…but the way they come together, the delivery plan, the individual moving parts can differ as wildly as you could imagine.

And this is why change will always be perceived as risky and challenging. None of us, no matter what our experience, will ever get used to it.

And yet we must.

Evolving the business is critical

It was Henry Ford who said:

“The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all but goes on making his own business better all the time.”

The need for businesses to evolve has always existed but, with the added dimension of technological advancement, the requirement to adapt is all the more urgent. To avoid change for a couple of years too many in today’s climate is to consign your business to the lower leagues; to become an ‘also-ran’.

We speak to many business leaders across a range of sectors. While change and evolution are important to them all, there are some industries where tradition is hard to break through. The more formal organisations which have a deeper history and stronger heritage find it harder to adjust to new ways of working.

It’s these organisations who especially benefit from our data-driven approach because their change programmes need to reach into the culture that they’ve built and build new expectations, constructively and sensitively. Evidence, in the form of data, is needed to convince them to take the risks they associate with the change.

We also help them to listen to their own beliefs about what they want for the future and to understand how and why to undo past strategies. All without losing the goodwill that is built into their brand.

Change brings cultural challenges

Let’s take a long-established consultancy firm as an example. They have a reputation built over many years and will have many long-standing client relationships.

For them to change their culture is a huge challenge but, if they wish to remain competitive, it’s an essential move.

The image of turning a supertanker comes to mind. It’s possible but it has to be done gradually. Breaking down any project or task that feels overwhelming always makes it easier, not just to deliver but to understand too. It enables the business to predict different stakeholder reactions and plan for them; to ensure there are no ‘loose threads’ when fundamental processes are changed.

Of course, one of the biggest challenges is to continue ‘business as usual’ activities while change is in progress. Staying focused on goals and targets is essential to ensure the business doesn’t lose ground in the meantime. That’s where a safe pair of external hands can provide the support and guidance needed to ensure there can be a dual focus.

Mixing new and old thinking

Often, businesses like this need a step change to remain competitive. Treading water or relying on the same ways of working are not options because simply maintaining the status quo will not ensure their future market position and it’s their operating model that needs to be examined.

In many cases the organisation knows they are on a journey and that there are opportunities ripe for the taking. However, they need some entrepreneurial thinking, or coaching, the encourage them to consider taking a higher risk (by moving outside of their comfort zone) in order to reap greater rewards. For example by attracting new clientele, from outside of their usual sphere of influence.

There’s still a lot of the existing approach which remains valid: strong relationships and excellent customer service should never be replaced but, to continue attracting top talent for their teams and to break into new or emerging markets, these firms need something more.

Three aspects of successful change programmes

There are three key aspects to designing and delivering a successful change programme in this type of environment. They are:

  • Being able to access and influence several senior stakeholders within the same organisation, demonstrating the value of the change to each one in the context of their own remit;

  • Using data to test and prove models and outcomes so that risk and reward can be more accurately predicted; and

  • Having the ability to deliver the supporting elements of a change programme, such as the communication, the coaching, and the training, which can be the difference between success and failure.

At Transform Performance, we have all these aspects covered.

We have the experience of delivering these change programmes and we also have the knowledge and data to understand how to leverage the high performing talent in the business, galvanise leaders and understand the belief system of every individual who stands to be affected by the change.

These are powerful tools to have in our arsenal and they are the reason we see success in significant change programmes that we deliver.

If what we’re discussing in this article resonates, or you’d like to pick our brains further and explore how we can help you achieve a successful change programme, we’d love to hear from you.

Schedule a free consultation with us. We’ll be happy to discuss how we can leverage our experience and data to help your business thrive.

plotting a different path

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